After an extensive research period and a trip to Korea, myself and writer David Lane are embarking on two weeks research and development for a show based on the extraordinary true life events of the North and South Korean divided family reunions.
It is the story of North and South Korea’s jointly organised reunions of family members: annual events officially held since 2000 which – for twelve hours only – bring together those separated by the Korean War for over half a century. Every year since 2000 hundreds of family members from an application list of around 80,000 have been selected to travel to the Kumgang Mountain tourist resort in North Korea. The majority of applicants do not even know until contacted that their family members have survived. Once their reunion is over, they will never meet again. This is a story of how a separated father and daughter contain the relentless attrition of international politics in their human story: a paradoxical tale about the political powers that both separate and bring them together.
We will be working with international producer Judy Owen, two actors, a sound artist, a Korean composer and a movement director to explore the best way to tell this extraordinary story.